Kurozato – Black Japanese Sugar
Kurozato, an unrefined sugar that comes from the agricultural island of Amami Oshima in Japan, has a unique method of production that involves a process of washing and rinsing the fresh sugar cane then cold-pressing to extract the cane juice. The juice from this first pressing is reduced over a wood fire then allowed to settle for a few days. Once the syrup is crystallized, it is broken up into chunks or made into a powder which is how it is sold.
Kurozato is a key ingredient in many traditional Japanese confections . It adds a rich molasses flavour to anything it is used with. These delighful chunks, in addition to being a cooking ingredient, are also often eaten straight much like a sweet but beware -they are addictively ‘moreish’!
To use, add the sugar lumps in a small saucepan with some water and bring to the boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and stir constantly until the sugar has completely dissolved. This dark liquid can be poured over just about anything- cakes, pancakes, roasted figs as well as savoury dishes like pork and duck.